Happy New Year! Now that everyone is back from vacation, it’s time to pencil in these fun events that are taking place across Kuala Lumpur. Keep reading to discover the best art events and pop-ups in KL that you simply cannot miss.
This time around, the window between Christmas and Chinese New Year has tightened right up. However, despite having two landmark celebrations so close together, Kuala Lumpur is not about to hit pause on the fun. This month, the town is pulsing with activities such as concerts, theatrical showcases, and even a Chinese New Year pop-up or two.
The Chinese New Year falls on 22 January 2023, but pop-ups have already cropped up across town, some even with special appearances of fan-favourite characters. A must-see each Chinese New Year, the lion dance performances are aplenty this month. However, be sure to make time for the ultimate showcase (see details in our guide below). But seasonal revelry aren’t all—we have that and more in our list of things to do in KL for January 2023.
Mark your calendars; it’s time to check out these art events and pop-ups in KL in January 2023
Poetic Spring Garden at Kwai Chai Hong
The iconic Kwai Chai Hong laneway tucked in Petaling Street has garnered fans and art enthusiasts for its historical-meets-modern touches. In celebration of the Year of the Rabbit, the hidden gem is splashed with whimsical installations in collaboration with homegrown artist Jaemy C. Famed for his calligraphy work and use of textures with electric hues, the artist was heavily inspired by the spring season and the zodiac rabbit for his biggest art installation yet. Themed “Poetic Spring Garden”, the installation will easily transport anyone to a magical place thanks to its illuminating lights, over-sized blooms and non-conventional calligraphy work done by the artist. As you enter, it’s hard not to miss Jaemy C’s work when inflatables and 3D-printed rabbits are stealing the show. As a way to mimic fluidity, you will notice these colourful rabbits descending down a “slide” (xuan paper) and are surrounded by inflatable pineapples.
Take a closer look, and go ahead and decipher the hidden messages located in the calligraphy. Be sure to get there early if you want the best Instagram-worthy shots.
Poetic Spring Garden is open now till 12 February 2023, from 9 AM – 12 AM.
Glenfiddich Chinese New Year Pop Up
Remember to bring your camera for this one! Aside from interactive games, Glenfiddich also welcome guests to check out the wishing lantern wall. This is no ordinary Chinese New Year celebration though—the brand will also be unveiling its limited-edition packs that features illustration drawn by none other than the award-winning artist Yixin Zeng.
At the event, you can also get your hands on a personalised calligraphed Chinese New Year memento that makes for a truly unique display.
When: 5 January 2023
Where: Hall 3, Pavilion Bukit Jalil Exhibition Centre
MPO Goes Broadway
Whether you’re a Broadway aficionado or just dipping your toes into this immersive world, you definitely do not want to miss out on this one-night only showcase. Featuring an amazing amalgamation from the musical theatre realm, this orchestra will be serenading you for 90 whole minutes with the perennial favourites from West Side Story, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, and The Phantom of the Opera.
Book your tickets here.
When: 28 January 2023
Where: Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, PETRONAS Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Having been in the works since 2021, these ladies will finally be taking their hard work on to the stage of klpac. For 105 minutes, you are going to catch not one, not two, but twenty insightful monologues that will take you through a spectrum of emotions. Staged in two instalments, “Her Story” presents a space for 12 budding women writers that come from all walks of life, touching on human conditions and femininity.
Book your tickets here.
When: 12 to 15 January 2023
Where: Pentas 2, klpac
The Sound of Music
One of the world’s best-loved musical is coming to town. If you’ve been wowed by Julie Andrew’s performance as Maria in the 1965 film, then be sure to make plans to catch this international production that also feature young local talents. The show follows the story of a fun-loving governess who transforms the lives of one widowed Captain von Trapp and his seven children by bringing back the joy of music.
The 1959 Broadway production won five Tony Awards (including Best Musical), and a Grammy for Best Show Album, so it’s easily a must-watch. If you missed it, here’s our take on why you should watch the musical soon.
Book your tickets here.
When: 5 to 15 January 2023
Where: Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur
Dance of the Lion
Feast your eyes (and ears) on one of the best lion dances yet! With multiple dance troupes and groups set to wow you with ornate costumes and epic moves, you can also take it a step further and immerse yourself in the rich history of this cultural element of Chinese New Year.
The spectacle won’t be the only thing waiting to dazzle you; visitors will also be walked through how it all began. Not only that, you can also catch sight of rarely seen artefacts and paraphernalia that will deepen your understanding and appreciation of this tradition.
When: 14 January to 6 February 2023
Rafiee Ghani: Bumi Bertuah
A synthesis of all of the artiste’s travel, Bumi Bertuah is a solo exhibition by Rafiee Ghani where he shares an entirely new series of paintings that capture his experiences and memories of his continental travel.
This time, the painter boldly challenges himself to switch gears to use acrylic (instead of his favourite medium, oil paint).
When: 7 to 22 January 2023
Where: G13 Gallery, Kelana Jaya
Meet the Prosperity Rabbits
Perfect for the entire family, make your way to the city centre and catch the Prosperity Rabbits at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Be sure to bring your phones fully charged as there are many picture-perfect spots to commemorate this year’s Chinese New Year festivities with your loved ones. The mesmerising garden is filled with cascading blooms and glistening lanterns, enthralling visitors. Don’t forget to also check out Pavilion Kuala Lumpur’s lion dance showcase.
When: Throughout the month
Where: Centre Court, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Meet your favourite Looney Tunes characters
To ring in the year of the rabbit, Pavilion Bukit Jalil has welcomed the much-loved Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny and Tweety Bird. Meet and greet sessions are available at 12pm, 3pm, and 7pm, and you can score complimentary passes for the occasion 30 minutes prior to each session—so be sure to snag those in time!
When: 7 January to 1 February 2023
Where: Centre Court, Pavilion Bukit Jalil
Art Rocks Us
Last, but not least, we have the “Art Rocks Us” showcase, an immersive art exhibition that features artworks by career artists, product designers, and even the talented students from Fugee School. At the same time, Fugee is introducing its Giving Catalogue as an effort to fundraise to build the Fugee Dream School to benefit more students and refugee artists to unleash their artistic potential.
When: 5 January to 2 February 2023
Where: KEN Gallery, Menara KEN TTDI
Featured and hero images credit: Unsplash